No Longer Male and Female: Ancient Christian Voices Illuminating Gender Beyond the Binary

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2023

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Abstract

As faith communities engage in conversations about the meaning and significance of gender, many people have begun exploring the concept of gender beyond a fixed binary of male and female. These conversations can be challenging, raising complicated questions and employing unfamiliar concepts. This thesis seeks to engage the conversation about gender by attending to voices found in the biblical tradition, discovering a resource for better understanding the contemporary questions that have been posed. Although some may argue that the Bible endorses a strict, male-female binary, a close examination reveals that the Bible paints a much more complex picture of gender and its significance. This thesis will explore gender from several angles, discovering biblical and theological resources for a more expansive conception of gender beyond the binary. Written from a perspective that supports the full inclusion and embrace of transgender and nonbinary people in Christian churches, this thesis seeks to highlight ways that the Bible can be a useful tool for understanding gender in a way that is more nuanced and ultimately more faithful to the beautiful complexity of God’s creation.

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Brown, William F (2023). No Longer Male and Female: Ancient Christian Voices Illuminating Gender Beyond the Binary. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29086.

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